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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hachilah, Hill of

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Lieut. Conder suggests for this spot (Quar. Statement of the "Palest. Explor. Fund,"'January 1875, page 47) "the high hill bounded by deep valleys north and south on which the ruin of Yekin now stands," and Tristram (Bible Lands, page 63) coincides in this identification; but if this be the site of the ancient city Cain (q.v.), it can hardly be also that of Hachilah; and, in fact, the latter is not a proper name at all, as it invariably has the article (תִחֲכַילָת, as being a mere appendage of Ziph). Later, Lieut. Conder proposes another site (Tent Work, 2:91): "This [hill] I would propose to recognise in the long ridge called El-Kolah, running out of the Ziph plateau towards the Dead Sea desert or Jeshimon, a district which, properly speaking, terminates about this line, melting into the Beersheba plains, On the north side of the hill are the 'Caves of the Dreamers,' perhaps the actual scene of David's descent on Saul's sleeping guards." As to the "wood (choresh) of Ziph," he remarks (page 89): "A moment's reflection will convince any traveller that as the dry, porous formation of the plateau must be unchanged since David's time, no wood of trees could then have flourished over this unwatered and sun-scorched region. The true explanation seems to be that the word choresh is a proper name with a different signification; and such is, the view of the Greek version and of Josephus. We were able considerably to strengthen this theory by the discovery of the ruin of Khoreisa and the valley of Hiresh (the same word under another form), close to Ziph, the first of which may well be thought to represent the Hebrew Choresh-Ziph." But the latter term likewise is a mere denominative, for it takes the article (תִחֹרְשָׁת, 1 Samuel 23:15; 1 Samuel 23:18), and is elsewhere used plainly with reference to trees (Isaiah 17:9; Ezekiel 31:3).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hachilah, Hill of'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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